Former home now affordable housing for farmworkers
In an emotional ceremony, People’s Self-Help Housing welcomed the Villagomez family to the new Guadalupe Court Apartments, the location of their former family home.
The site on the northern end of Guadalupe now has 38 affordable housing units for farmworkers and their families.
The recent reception, which began at the community center, meandered along landscaped pathways, took in the children’s playground and concluded at a commemorative plaque. It was attended by two generations of the Villagomez family, travelling from throughout the state, to honor the memory of matriarch Esther.
Reading from a letter sent by a family member who had inspired the tribute, Ken Trigueiro, PSHH chief executive officer and president, shared with the assembled group that “Esther stayed here caring for the property . . . she liked field work because it was outdoors. . . Esther said she never wanted to do anything else.”
Going on to laud her love of the land, but more importantly her love of the people who worked it, Mr. Trigueiro continued with, “She may be looking down from heaven with a happy heart knowing that 38 families will live in comfort.”
The Villagomez family, who have gone on to include social workers, educators, social justice advocates and members of the agricultural community, gathered at the foot of the original palm tree, which had stood on the land where their forebears had lived.
A stone monument is now placed there in recognition of the efforts of Esther, who showed empathy to anyone who struggled with housing.
As a token of thanks to the Villagomez family, who shared their heartwarming memories of Esther, including her love of roses that had once adorned the home, attendees were gifted rose bushes to commemorate and carry on her legacy.